The Outsmart Series: Borderline Personality Disorder

Updated: Apr 4

If you've got someone in your life with borderline traits, you know there's a cyclical pattern of pushing and pulling, loving and hating, togetherness and apartness.


You probably find it difficult to know what you're gonna get -- the push or the pull? The love or the hate? People in these relationships often talk about needing to walk on eggshells in order to make things easier on themselves.


So what's a person to do? Or NOT do, as the case may be?



If you've got someone in your life with borderline traits, you know there's a cyclical pattern of pushing and pulling, loving and hating, togetherness and apartness.

Borderline Personality Traits: What to do & not do


1. Don't threaten to leave.

So, this is an interesting don't. Because, OF COURSE, you're going to want to threaten to leave someone who is so volatile or unhealthy for you. But the key here is the word "threaten". If you're going to leave, actually leave...even if it's to leave the room or the house for a little bit. Part of what makes people with borderline traits so unsteady is that they have a hard time predicting you, too. So if you threaten to leave, but don't leave, they don't know whether they can trust your words or your actions. Which gets them super triggery and they do their own part of the cycle. The take away from this don't is this: Don't threaten something unless you plan to follow through.


2. Do get very clear on your limits.

It's super hard to set boundaries with people with borderline traits, and that gets even harder when you don't really know your limits. This means figuring out what you will and won't put up with. My guess is that, in this relationship, you've set quite a few limits, like, "Okay, I can tolerate ignoring me, but I will NOT put up with yelling." Then they yell, just once. Then they yell some more, and pretty soon your limit isn't as clear as it was. So, this is a good time to get to know yourself and what limits you actually want to set. With someone with borderline traits, it's far better to have and communicate a firm limit on something you might consider a dealbreaker, than to create but not enforce small limits along the way.


Explore the High Conflict Relationships program - a self-help course designed for individuals who want immediate and effective instruction to help them navigate a high conflict relationship at home, at work or in their social lives. The program offers three options and participants generally see improvement in 6-8 weeks.


Books by Jenni.


Next up in The Outsmart Series: Paranoid Personality Disorder

7 views0 comments